Tuesday, September 29, 2009

NIH Wants Help Improving Public Input

Source: HDM Breaking News, September 24, 2009
by Joseph Goedert

The National Institutes of Health has issued a request for information on ways to better receive input from consumers and improve communication with the public.

NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting biomedical and behavioral research. The RFI is in response to President Obama's call for greater transparency, public participation and collaboration in federal decision making.

"The RFI will provide insight and better understanding of the health information needs and information-seeking behaviors of NIH health consumer audiences," according to the document. "Information gathered will assist the agency in developing and disseminating health, medical and scientific information to a broader variety of audiences. The agency anticipates using new outreach strategies and tools, from community-level outlets to Internet-based social media. Members of the public as well as organizations are invited and encouraged to participate in this public input opportunity."

The RFI seeks information on the following topics:

* the current state and range of health information-seeking behaviors and trends;
* the range of health information of interest to the public;
* how the public accesses and uses health information; and
* barriers that might impede NIH's ability to communicate with health consumers.

NIH published the request for information on Sept. 23 in the Federal Register, available at www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html. Responses are due by Dec. 31, 2009.

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